Some mornings here in Taiji you just know are going to be ‘slaughter days’…
But at the same time, some mornings you get either a plesant surprise, or the disappointment of a lifetime. To have both in one day happens rarely, and when it does it feels literally soul-crushing.
We awoke to a very overcast and dark morning here in Taiji, though with glass-like seas. There was an overwhelming sense of doom almost lingering in the air, as we watched the banger boats leave to hunt dolphins… B, Heather, Nikki and myself went up to the promontory to scout the horizon and Scott and Erwin went up to a new area; ‘Point Erwin’.
The boys could see the drive a little more clear if dolphins were found down South, and this morning I received a message from Scott that it looked as though the dolphin hunters had found a pod. Every ten or so minutes I would be updated, and for a while it wasn’t looking good.But then it seemed as though the pod had gotten away, and the seven boats that were driving it to the South had started making their way back. Three bangers stationed to the North began to return and drove straight into Taiji Harbour. For a precious fifteen or so minutes, our hopes started to rise higher and higher… even the sun came out into a glorious sunrise. It looked as though it was going to be a great day for the dolphins!
It all changed so suddenly. The banger boats appeared as if out of no where in front of the promontory. Seven of them. Lined up in drive formation… and then we spotted the pod.
They were driving quickly, so we headed straight for Glenda’s Hill to get a good look down toward the Cove.
The pod were so exhausted, especially for Striped dolphins. Now, every time I see the gorgeous markings that identify a dolphin as Striped, I feel a huge knot in my stomach. For me, seeing Striped dolphins in the cove has been by far the most horrible to endure, as they would normally throw themselves up onto rocks in a desperate attempt to get away from the banging and roaring motors… It is heart wrenching. For this to be legal anywhere in the world is absolutely beyond me. For pride, for culture, for money… it doesn’t matter in the end- to see these animals’ fear, desperation and prolonged suffering should be enough to halt the insanity…
Today was a little different to all other Striped dolphin slaughters I have witnessed in the past… as a testament to just how exhausted these animals were, they allowed themselves to be pushed straight into the killing cove without jumping on rocks… the suffering for this particular pod was to occur out of sight, under tarpaulins. But no amount of screens could obscure the noises you can hear from within the killing cove… noises that will continue to stay with me in both my waking and dreaming states.
And, just like that, a family was destroyed. The only thing left to see was a small boat full of dolphin bodies (covered up, of course) with a few men, the beast of the Earth, strewed on top…
For those of you who want to help us make a difference and have a hand at stopping the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, click here! Also- to help me in my mission to give a voice to the youth of the world, read all about my ‘In Our Hands’ project and PLEASE get involved!
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Thanks again for all the support guys!
On the path to protect,